Eastbound and Down

I have missed this feeling.  The excitement of the near future and the open road.  The unknown of a new city and some mysterious event.  I even enjoyed packing.

When I went into my closet to start getting prepared, I had to fight not to reach for the backpack that was my home for so long.  I opted for a more reasonable duffel bag, but that slight pang of homesickness stuck around for awhile.  The contents of my bag were vastly different than they were in the past.  Gone were the water tablets, headlamp, first aid kit … in their place were auxiliary belt buckles, dress clothes, and heavy denim.  I have a bag of wants, not a bag of needs.  A bag of needs would be 1/4 the size.  There’s a correlation here with the food I’ve been eating, but that’s an old conversation you’ve heard already.

Tonight at approximately 10 PM, Indi and I head out of Tulsa with three friends bound for Atlanta, GA and the 23rd annual Dragon*Con convention.  Spread throughout four+ hotels, the con boasts over 30k people in attendance and is staffed by 1500+ volunteers.  There are celebrities, artists, authors, scientists, mega-fans, and many other represetentatives from all kinds of media fields, notably the movie/tv world and the comic world.  It’s a mass gathering littered with fans, friends, and people in costume.  I am really looking forward to some of my photographic opportunities.

There are also panels, workshops, autograph sessions, and various fan gatherings…a few of which are trying to go for World Records this year.  There are also dances, contests, and a parade on Saturday.  The only thing we’re going to be lacking is sleep.  Obviously, this is an experience unlike anything I’ve been through before.  It is certainly much different than any of my international traveling destinations, and the last convention I went to was a Food Show in Springfield, Missouri.  I’d explain what a food show is, but it’s mostly boring to those outside of the grocery industry.  It is what it is.

I’m packing a smaller bag for my electronics (as usual) including my trusty netbook.  I had to charge it and clean it up a little, as it has sat in a pack in the closet for the past few months.  It is very odd to see these remnants of the most amazing time of my life, gathering dust and waiting to be useful again.  Well, the time is near.  It’s all happening.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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